The Kevin Love Argument: Cleveland Cavaliers

By Erik Lambert

Nov 13, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Timberwolves power forward Kevin Love (42) and Cleveland Cavaliers center Anderson Varejao (17) battle for position in the second quarter at Target Center. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland already got LeBron but now they are going for the home run.  What are the arguments for and against the acquisition of Kevin Love?

For:  LeBron James and Kyrie Irving get their stretch four

The pro side of the argument is quite simple for Cleveland.  They have two proven stars now in Kyrie Irvie and return prodigal son LeBron James.  Based on the success seen down in Miami, it makes perfect sense for them to want to add a third.  Kevin Love is that solution.  Not only does he provided them outside shooting, which he’s particularly good at but he also gives them a significant presence in the paint when rebounding.  Those three together, with their array of offensive skills would be nearly impossible to stop even for the best defenses in the NBA.  There is no shortage of things James will be able to do knowing he has Irving and Love as options on the floor with him.

Against:  Love is nowhere close to Andrew Wiggins on defense

The issue at hand for the Cleveland Cavaliers is what they will have to give up to get Kevin Love on the roster.  According to most sources the package that seems popular for Minnesota is 2013 first round pick Anthony Bennett, 2014 first round pick Andrew Wiggins and a first round pick in 2015.  The key piece to that is of course Wiggins.  Every draft experts believes his ceiling stops at the tip top of the elite franchise level.  His athleticism and arsenal of abilities is off the charts.  The problem is, like any rookie, he’s not a guarantee.  There is no possible way to tell if he’ll pan out whereas Love is a proven commodity entering his prime.  From that angle in makes perfect sense for the Cavs to make the deal.  At the same time there are fundamental problems with the deal.

While Wiggins’ future prospects are gray, most of that is regarding his underdeveloped offensive game.  One thing he is not short on is ability as a defender.  If nothing else Wiggins can guard almost anybody he wants to.  Cleveland as a team ranged 19th overall in defense last season.  The addition of LeBron will help that, but not enough to realistically become a title favorite.  Throwing Wiggins on the floor may have been the final piece.  For all the good things Love can do on the floor, he is not an elite athlete or elite defender.  By sacrificing Wiggins, the Cavs run the risk of remaining a one dimensional team.  A team that can light up the scoreboard but scarcely stop anybody.